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Andrew Heyson
Worked at DrooIT Services, LLC
Lives in Hampton, VA
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Andrew Heyson

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reviewed:
The Vineyards Trattoria & Pizzeria
1405 Kiln Creek Parkway, Newport News, VA 23602
Edit 10/20/2012: It's funny how negative reviews for The Vineyards get a "Not Helpful" vote. Every place has its loyal following, but if you received poor service and mediocre food, don't discount what's been said because of your loyalty. Restaurant reviews are about giving praise where it is due, but ALSO about making sure they know about their shortcomings so the business can make corrections. Discounting my review here helped NO ONE. It wasn't mean-spirited and was completely accurate. If REGULARS to this restaurant here thought it wasn't, then try taking a hard look at how the restaurant operates when it's busy, or forget that you already know the wait staff and management and look at it from a newcomer's perspective. You might suddenly witness the attitude of the staff, the lackadasical service, and the lack of care for the comfort of the customer.

Original post 5/2011:

No more birthdays at the Vineyards. I apologize for how this reads. Google's reviews does not show paragraph breaks so it makes this look like a jumbled mess.

I used to enjoy going to the Vineyards. I went on May 14, 2011 for my birthday dinner. The place was packed, the parking lot was jammed, so it was obviously a busy time. We had reservations and were seated at a table near the front at the side window.

As I said, I used to enjoy going there for a specific kind of pasta served with a delicious spicy pink sauce. To my dismay, it no longer existed, (they did have seafood with a champagne pink sauce, but I don't eat seafood and this was not the same thing) so I had to scramble for something else. I wound up with the Veal Parmesean.

Out came the garlic knots. Usually the reason for it's name is the strong garlic flavor it has. Well, it had none this time. My family being a bread family still ate it waiting for the food. The second basket came... still no flavor.

I noticed the table in front of me receiving their meals... only to complain that a plate was not what they ordered. Not a problem. That happens from time to time but the waiter that took it back clearly looked annoyed. I don't know if it was with the table or with the kitchen, but it's not something the customer should see.

The salad was good. Fresh, leafy greens with a few tomato chunks, a few olives, and a couple of pepperoncini.

My brother and my mother received their dishes first, only to find out that they put the wrong sauce on my mother's. The waitress asked my mother if it was still okay. (Are you kidding me? Very different sauces and she has to be very careful with what she eats) She politely responded with a smile, "no", and back it went.

Then there was the giant yellow Hummer truck that parked at the side window I was seated at. I gave an annoyed stare at the driver as what little view I had was now the side of a yellow beast/truck that was 3 feet away from me. It eclipsed the light at my table! She glanced back as if she owned the restaurant.

Funny thing is, the actual owner of the restaurant wound up having a delightful conversation with them, so they apparently knew each other. Wonderful. Not every customer likes the feeling that they just sat down at a Sonic fast food restaurant as the view was all monster truck!

My Veal Parm came out and I decided to wait for my mother's meal first before starting. To the Vineyard's credit, her dish was in front of her in less than 5 minutes.

There was very little seasoning on the food. Salt and pepper was rolling around the table like it was the newest taste sensation.

My veal was properly cooked, but generally uninteresting. I half expected it to be flattened as I see in many good italian restaurants, but did not see that here. Again, there was a bit of a let down that this was a very distant second choice, so that is both the restaurant and my fault.

When we had finished, we decided not to have dessert as the meals simply weren't particularly tasty.

While the ratings here on Google only give good or bad ratings, the bad ratings I have given are not at the worst of the scale, but clearly this was NOT a good night for them.

I chose The Vineyards to be my Birthday dinner location as I had considered them to be one of the best area Italian restaurants. After last night, they're average at best. Next year will be somewhere else. Maybe Primo 116 in Suffolk, maybe even Luigi's north of Denbigh, but not The Vineyards.
Food Poor - FairDecor Poor - FairService Poor - Fair
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@Thomas: I feel your pain in the loss of your cat. That's a horrible thing to happen. What I will say in Kiln Creek's defense is that whenever I saw Dr Sue Stiff for my cats, she frequently made sure that I understood what the risks were for rabies shots. There was a 3 year shot and a 1 year shot. Both are considered acceptible, but the 3 year shot had a *higher risk* of causing cancer. That meant the 1 year vaccine ALSO had risk attached to it, just not quite as high. FYI, Kiln Creek generally only does the 1 year shot for that reason. Beware that if you microchip your animal, that has ALSO been linked to cancer. That said, I believe Dr Sue Stiff is no longer with Kiln Creek (in Gloucester now?), so your experience with them could have been different. Most of my trips there have been generally positive, but they do tend to be a little on the expensive side. Thomas, I'm real sorry for your loss, and I am in partial agreement with you, but unfortunately it's against the law to not vaccinate your cats in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It's a sad risk to take, but take it you must. Kiln Creek cannot be at fault here.
• • •
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
It was our first visit there. Very nice look to the place. We enjoyed the movie. Our only problem was my girlfriend's steak was particularly tough and had quite a bit of fat on it. The management there was eager to correct this issue, so we certainly can't argue service. My meal was fine, so I suspect the steak was just that rare event when things don't go as planned with food. All in all, it was a very nice and comfortable theater and we intend to return some time soon.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
3 reviews
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No more birthdays at the Vineyards. I apologize for how this reads. Google's reviews does not show paragraph breaks so it makes this look like a jumbled mess. I used to enjoy going to the Vineyards. I went on May 14, 2011 for my birthday dinner. The place was packed, the parking lot was jammed, so it was obviously a busy time. We had reservations and were seated at a table near the front at the side window. As I said, I used to enjoy going there for a specific kind of pasta served with a delicious spicy pink sauce. To my dismay, it no longer existed, (they did have seafood with a champagne pink sauce, but I don't eat seafood and this was not the same thing) so I had to scramble for something else. I wound up with the Veal Parmesean. Out came the garlic knots. Usually the reason for it's name is the strong garlic flavor it has. Well, it had none this time. My family being a bread family still ate it waiting for the food. The second basket came... still no flavor. I noticed the table in front of me receiving their meals... only to complain that a plate was not what they ordered. Not a problem. That happens from time to time but the waiter that took it back clearly looked annoyed. I don't know if it was with the table or with the kitchen, but it's not something the customer should see. The salad was good. Fresh, leafy greens with a few tomato chunks, a few olives, and a couple of pepperoncini. My brother and my mother received their dishes first, only to find out that they put the wrong sauce on my mother's. The waitress asked my mother if it was still okay. (Are you kidding me? Very different sauces and she has to be very careful with what she eats) She politely responded with a smile, "no", and back it went. Then there was the giant yellow Hummer truck that parked at the side window I was seated at. I gave an annoyed stare at the driver as what little view I had was now the side of a yellow beast/truck that was 3 feet away from me. It eclipsed the light at my table! She glanced back as if she owned the restaurant. Funny thing is, the actual owner of the restaurant wound up having a delightful conversation with them, so they apparently knew each other. Wonderful. Not every customer likes the feeling that they just sat down at a Sonic fast food restaurant as the view was all monster truck! My Veal Parm came out and I decided to wait for my mother's meal first before starting. To the Vineyard's credit, her dish was in front of her in less than 5 minutes. There was very little seasoning on the food. Salt and pepper was rolling around the table like it was the newest taste sensation. My veal was properly cooked, but generally uninteresting. I half expected it to be flattened as I see in many good italian restaurants, but did not see that here. Again, there was a bit of a let down that this was a very distant second choice, so that is both the restaurant and my fault. When we had finished, we decided not to have dessert as the meals simply weren't particularly tasty. While the ratings here on Google only give good or bad ratings, the bad ratings I have given are not at the worst of the scale, but clearly this was NOT a good night for them. I chose The Vineyards to be my Birthday dinner location as I had considered them to be one of the best area Italian restaurants. After last night, they're average at best. Next year will be somewhere else. Maybe Primo 116 in Suffolk, maybe even Luigi's north of Denbigh, but not The Vineyards.
• • •
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago